Doctors warn of dehydration dangers in the cold - KCTV5 News

Doctors warn of dehydration dangers in the cold

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Everybody knows temperatures this low can be dangerous, but beyond the hazards of frostbite, there are other health risks people may not think about.

Beyond a warm coat, hat, scarf and gloves, doctors are reminding people to also remember a bottle of water.

Dr. Bill Barkman, the medical director of occupational health at the University of Kansas Hospital, says people in the winter often change up their routine.

"We change our normal pattern. For instance you see people running all the time with water bottles and staying hydrated (when it's warm out). Not so much when it gets this cold,” he said.

Dehydration can occur in cold temperatures too and it can intensify illnesses, fatigue and hypothermia.

“If you're dehydrated it even makes it (health problems) quicker. If your temperature falls even further and gets below 90 degrees, then it becomes a medical emergency,” Barkman said.

If a refrigerated bottle of water sounds too chilly for some, consider trying something a little more comforting.

"If you get chilled, warm the water you're drinking. It will help keep your core temperature up,” Barkman said.

People should also avoid consuming too much salt, caffeine or other diuretics in extremely cold temperatures because they can help add to dehydration.

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